News release: Hundreds of new items of extremist content being created online daily

  • 27% of content includes violent, distressing or incitements to commit terrorist attacks
  • Spikes in activity seen around key acts of terrorism
  • UK company behind the artificial intelligence technology used to detect illegal content for leading social networks

The amount of terrorist propaganda and extremist content being posted online, especially on social media platforms is a growing global issue.  Now, a UK headquartered company has been identified as being behind the technology that is being used by global social networks to detect hundreds of pieces of new terrorism-related content created online each day.

Crisp, which is known for its work in detecting and preventing sexual predators over the past decade and helping thousands of brands across the globe manage social media risks, is now deploying its advanced Artificial Intelligence to identify terrorist and extremist content online. The Crisp technology – called Capture – has been locating nearly 200 pieces of new, unique pieces of media terrorist content every day. Each individual piece of content can, in turn, be uploaded and shared thousands of times, making it essential that it is found and addressed quickly.

The illegal content being discovered by Crisp’s Capture technology can be broken down into the following categories:

  • 73% - non-distressing terrorist propaganda: images and videos which glorify or promote the terrorist cause, but without the use of extremely distressing material
  • 15% - violent terrorist propaganda: beheadings and bloody gore resulting from terrorist activity shown in the context of glorifying or promoting the terrorist cause 
  • 8% - contains extremist preaching: videos and written pieces that promote hatred or violence against others 
  • 2% - instructional videos on terrorist devices: detailed instructions on how to create explosive, chemical devices or weaponry for use in terrorist acts.
  • 2% - incitements to commit terrorist acts: content that directly incites the audience to carry out terrorist acts that would result in the harm or death of members of the public 

Theresa May, together with the leaders of France and Italy, has challenged the world’s biggest technology companies to remove terrorist propaganda in a timeline as short as under two hours. If they fail to show they are taking action by a G7 meeting next month, they will come under threat of fines, as is the case in Germany, which will see a similar law come in to effect in October.

Adam Hildreth, CEO of Crisp comments: “Being able to detect this new content quickly is essential. We are finding hundreds of newly-created items every day, but the impact is much wider than that. We know that new terrorism-related content can have a ‘starburst’ effect, where it is rapidly shared, distributed and viewed many thousands of times. Capture can identify the highest risk and most shareable content within minutes, reporting it directly to the social networks teams to action or even automate complete take down.

Capture works very differently to traditional ‘seek and destroy’ moderation methods often used by social networks to date. Due to the vast amount of content uploaded every minute to social networks, trying to find terrorist propaganda amidst all legal content is akin to finding a needle in a haystack.  Instead Capture works by graphing the social web, finding the places that have been identified by the AI as risk hubs for the discussion and sharing of illegal content, such as in dark web forums, discussion boards and messaging apps, and following those discussions to locate the source, so it can be reported and removed, within minutes of being discovered.

The Crisp Capture project also identified trends in terms of spikes of new content being uploaded and shared around key events:

  • London Bridge Attack (3 June 2017) – nearly double the number of images and videos promoting terrorism were created relating to further van or lorry attacks on pedestrians were uploaded.
  • Anniversary of 9/11 (11 September 2017) – again nearly double the daily average of terrorist items recorded

Adam continues: “Our approach works on the premise that illegal content is being uploaded because the author wants people to see it. So instead of searching through huge quantities of good content in the hope of finding the bad, we monitor at scale the vast data sources that promote bad & illegal content, giving us incredible accuracy, real-time detection and scalability.”


For more information on Capture or a technical briefing on the Capture technology with Adam Hildreth please contact Julia Ruane on 07432 051922 or


Notes to editors:

Crisp is the global authority on social media risk and has been protecting hundreds of globally recognized brands and social platforms from the risks posed by social media for over ten years. The world’s largest media and entertainment business; five of the top ten luxury and fashion brands; the largest pharmaceutical company, and the largest broadcaster in the world are just some of Crisp’s clients.

Our expert Risk Analysts moderate thousands of global social media channels with a combined total of over 1.3 billion fans and deal with three billion pieces of content every month, identifying risks across images, videos and text in over 50 languages.

Crisp is headquarted in the UK with offices in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and London.


For more information, please contact:

Julia Ruane, Head of PR & Content

M: +44 (0) 7432 051922